Jointly hosted by the China National Tourist Office and an official industry delegation from China, a 2014 “Beautiful China – Rediscover the Silk Road” event was held June 6 at the Sheraton Parkway Toronto North in Richmond Hill, as tourism officials promoted the “Beautiful China” brand, and further strengthened bilateral tourism exchanges and co-operation between Canada and China.
Led by China National Tourism Administration (CNTA), the delegation consisted of 23 industry representatives from seven provinces and municipalities, including Shaanxi, Ningxia, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Henan, Beijing and Shanghai. The Consul General of China in Toronto, Fang Li, Victor Oh, MP Costas Menegakis, Reza Moridi, Richmond Hill Councillor Castro Liu, vice-president of TIAC Rob Taylor and more than 200 tourism, airlines and media representatives attended this event.
As the largest of its kind held in Canada, the event was a major stop of 2014 “Beautiful China” global tourism campaigns. By means of discussions, negotiations and presentations, the event showcased not only the historical interests, but also the promising prospect of the “Silk Road.” A variety of classic travel products featuring signature experiences were presented at the event in the hope of making ”Rediscover the Silk Road” a world renowned brand, giving Canadian tourism industry a better understanding on China’s tourism resources, and bringing the mutual benefits of tourism development between the two countries to a higher level.
The “Silk Road,” once the main artery for trade in the ancient Eurasian continent, is an indelible chapter in the development of human civilization, endowed with 5,000 years of Chinese culture. Scattered along the section of 4,000 kilometres within China are numerous natural attractions and sites of historical and cultural interests. Some of the signature experiences include the Terracotta Warriors and Horses, the bicycle trek on “the Roof of the World” around the Qinghai Lake, the world renowned Dunhuang Grottos, hiking to the mysterious Lake Kanas, the Crescent Spring in a desert oasis, and the China auto rally across the desert.
“Over the years, tourism exchanges between China and Canada have developed into a significant means of mutual understandings between the two peoples and played an important role in both of our economies,” said Xiong, Shanhua, deputy director-general of CNTA and the leader of the delegation. “In 2013, China has seen more than 680,000 Canadian arrivals, making Canada its 11th largest inbound travel market and an important long-haul market. Over the same period, nearly 500,000 Chinese tourists have made Canada their first stop of outbound travels. Double-digit annual growth of Chinese inbound travellers to Canada has been seen since Canada was granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) in 2010.”
Xiong added, “We should take the opportunity to bring the bilateral tourism exchanges a step forward, making the ‘Silk Road’ a breakthrough in tourism co-operation across the vast Pacific.”